Bob Schwartz



The zafu is the center
Of the universe.
I sit and I am not there.

Q: Is the cushion the center of the universe?

A: Yes.

Q: When you sit on the cushion are you the center of the universe?

A: No.

Q: Is the cushion the center of the universe?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: The center of the universe is everywhere.

Q: Are you everywhere?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: I’m here on the cushion.

What If We Took on the Character of the Places Our Clothes Are Made?


I try to buy clothing made in America, but as a practical matter that’s very hard. Most of the basic, reasonably-priced items are made globally. Maybe that will change sometime, but it has been the trend for decades.

One thing I do, however, is look at the labels of the global clothes I wear. As I looked today I wondered: what if, in some of kind of magic, the clothes imparted the wearer with some of the character of the places they began?

Here is today’s lineup:

Shirt: Egypt
Jeans: Mexico
Briefs: Nicaragua

That itinerary does change from day to day, and includes Vietnam, Bangladesh, China, Honduras and other ports of call.

Is the spirit of Egypt in my shirt, and does it pass through my skin? How about my Mexican jeans? And what about Nicaragua, so very close to my very important parts?

Something to think about as we wrestle with the impact of globalism.



A story is told about a rabbi who once entered heaven in a dream. He was permitted to approach the temple in Paradise where the great sages of the Talmud, the tannaim, were spending their eternal lives. He saw that they were just sitting around tables studying the Talmud. The disappointed rabbi wondered, “Is this all there is to Paradise?” But suddenly he heard a voice, “You are mistaken. The tannaim are not in Paradise. Paradise is in the tannaim.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays